Ofer - Plea Bargain, Stone Throwing
Translation: Marganit W.
I came to observe the next segment in the hearing of Bassel Ali Abu Maria and Yehya Falah Abu Maria, whose case I have been reporting before.
When I got to Ofer, it turned out that the Nadi-al-Assir attorneys had gone on strike indefinitely (because they had not been paid by the Palestinian Authority), so it was not clear which hearings would take place.
I installed myself in Major Shahar Greenberg’s court and watched a parade of minors whose hearings can be reduced to one sentence: “the judge explains to the defendant that due to his attorney’s strike the hearing is postponed.” Justice Greenberg explained that an adult defendant can decide for himself if he wants the hearing to continue without the defense, but when it comes to minors this is not an option.
Judge: Major Shahar Greenberg
Prosecutor: Lieut. Agranash Agniyahu
Defense: Atty. Akram Samarra (not present)
Defendant: Bassel Ali Khan Abu Maria,ID 859597908-Case 1991/12
In the previous hearing the family was given an invoice to pay 3000 shekels as compensation for the damaged vehicle [damaged by the rock throwing].
After the previous hearing the father, Ali, was confident that in accordance with the agreement, there would be no more payments and Bassel would be released in two months. I had doubts that there would be no more payments.
This time the father told me that he knew there would be another fine but he was not sure about the sum.
There was no hearing because the attorney did not show up.
A summation hearing was set for 3.3.13.
The trial of Yehya Falah Hamdi Abu Maria,ID 401303540-Case 1156/13
Defense: Atty. Hamza Abu Mizar standing in for Atty. Ahlam Hadad
In my report of 27.1.13 I stated that the defendant had denied all the allegations. I cited Atty. Hadad’s strong objections to the indictment and to the interrogation of the minor Yehya Falah. Her poignant questions regarding the way the IDF came to arrest Yehya and Witness No. 2 impelled Justice Greenberg to ask the prosecution if there were ‘confidentiality certificates’ in the file (the answer was no).
I was quite surprised to hear the defense (Ahlam Hadad’s replacement) declare at the outset that there was already an agreement for a plea bargain in the case. Prior to the attorney’s declaration there was a brief consultation between the attorney and Yehya’s father. The former explained to the father that a plea bargain requires paying a penalty. The father looked stunned and requested some time to get organized. Yehya, too, looked astonished.
Summation hearing was set for 3.3.13.